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Most Australians believe that drug company payments influence doctors’ decisions

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e1076 (Published 13 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1076
  1. Ray Moynihan
  1. 1Byron Bay

A survey sponsored by a drug company indicates that nine in 10 Australians are concerned about the industry’s payments to doctors, though two thirds can be persuaded that such payments are acceptable if fully disclosed.

The representative online survey of more than 1000 people, funded by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), found that more than 70% of respondents were worried that payments to doctors may influence advice given to patients, 54% believed that the fees compromised a doctor’s integrity, and just over 50% considered the payments a form of bribery.

However, when the questionnaire provided a statement about the reason for the payments, 64% of people said that they were acceptable as …

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